My Windows 8 Consumer Preview: A Sneak Peek at the Windows 8 Public Beta

My Windows 8 Consumer Preview: A Sneak Peek at the Windows 8 Public Beta

by Katherine Murray

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This book gives you a first look at the exciting new features in Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the beta version of the operating system Microsoft released to the public on February 29, 2012. Chances are good that you’ve already heard about the flashy new Metro style of the Windows 8 interface. The new look may be the biggest news item you’ve been hearing about, but the changes in Windows 8 go far beyond the surface design changes. Windows 8 is a new program from the ground up, meaning that the experience it offers you will be much different from any version of Windows you’ve used before.


Windows 8 is fast and fluid, bringing you the updates you need quickly, while providing reliable access to the programs and files you depend on as you go about your daily tasks. Whether you are sharing photos, checking your social media accounts, designing a presentation, or listening to your favorite podcast, Windows 8 gives you the means to move through your tasks smoothly in any order or combination you choose.


Some folks welcome this kind of new energy in technology; others aren’t so sure a complete makeover is a good idea. Whichever camp you find yourself in, this book will help you learn more about what you can expect from Windows 8. Some of the biggest changes we’ll discuss in this book include:

Navigating the new Start screen, customizing Start screen colors, and displaying your favorite apps as you want them to appear

Using live tiles to get the latest information for your favorite apps

Using touch and mouse-based techniques to personalize your Windows 8 experience and work with files, folders, and more

Enhancing the security of your system by changing your Lock Screen, adding a picture password, and creating a PIN logon

Learning to work fluidly with open apps, cycling through open apps, docking apps, and closing or suspending apps you no longer need

Using the Refresh and Reset tools to give your computer a fresh start if you’re having computer problems

Shopping for apps in the Windows Store, installing apps on your computer, and adding ratings and reviews to let other shoppers know what you think

Browsing with the sleek and streamlined Internet Explorer 10


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780133071009
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 04/09/2012
Series: My...
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 102 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Katherine Murray has been writing about technology since before Microsoft Windows—any Microsoft Windows—even existed. She’s worked with every consumer version of Windows that has ever been made, marveling with the masses at Windows 3.1, swearing at Windows ME, enjoying Windows XP, and threatening to throw her computer off the roof, thanks to Windows Vista. She celebrated (like many), when Windows 7 delivered a sleek, smart, reasonably lightweight operating system that did pretty much what most users need it to do, and she practically flipped over the first inspiring demos of Windows 8 Developer Preview. The general public’s reaction to Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been mixed—with some power users wondering whether the Metro interface will deliver what they need and new users confounded by the range of choices and approaches. As a Windows Phone user, Katherine sees Windows 8 Consumer Preview as the next smart step in seamless operating system development and feels Windows 8—which is still in a beta release with Consumer Preview—moves toward a fast-moving, flexible, colorful, and user-driven computing experience that could change the way we work for the better.


Katherine started writing about technology 24 years ago and still enjoys it, specializing in Microsoft Office technologies and the fascinating ways in which we stay in touch with each other through cloud technology, blogging, social media, and more. You’ll find Katherine’s blog, BlogOffice, at In addition to writing books, she writes regularly for CNET’s TechRepublic and Windows Secrets.


Table of Contents

Introduction    1

Welcome to Windows 8 Consumer Preview    1

Highlights of Windows 8    2

What You’ll Find in This Book    4

Let’s Begin    5

1  Wow, Windows 8!    7

Getting Started with Windows 8    9

First Look!    9

Using Touch in Windows 8    10

Single Tap    10

Swipe Left    11

Swipe Right    12

Swipe Up and Down    13

Pinch Zoom    14

Getting Around with the Mouse and Keyboard    15

Using Your Mouse    15

Using the (Real) Keyboard    17

Using a Touch Keyboard    18

Exploring the Start Screen    20

Finding What You Need on the Start Screen    20

Displaying Windows 8 Charms    21

Getting to the Windows Desktop    22

Launching Windows Explorer    24

Removing an App from the Start Screen    25

Moving Apps on the Start Screen    27

Shutting Down or Putting Windows 8 to Sleep    27

Putting Windows 8 to Sleep    28

Shutting Down Windows 8    29

Getting the Help You Need    29

Displaying Windows Help and Support    29

Printing Help    31

2  Preparing Your Windows 8 PC    33

Adding Devices in Windows 8    34

Viewing Installed Devices    34

Connecting a Device    35

Removing a Device    37

Setting App Notifications    38

Changing Notifications    38

Connecting to Wireless Networks    39

Connecting to an Available Network    40

Managing Your PC Power    41

Choosing a Power Management Plan    42

Changing Power Options    43

Refreshing or Resetting Your PC    44

Refreshing Your PC    44

When You Need to Start Again: Reset    45

3  Personalizing Windows 8    47

Personalizing Your Lock Screen    48

Choosing a New Lock Screen Picture    48

Adding a New Lock Screen Picture on the Fly    50

Changing Your Account Picture    50

Adding Badges    52

Adjusting the Look of Windows 8    53

Changing the Look of the Start Screen    53

Up the Contrast, Baby    54

Magnifying Your Display    55

Changing the Time    55

Tweaking Your Touch Experience    56

Choosing Your Language    57

4  Securing Your Windows 8 Computer    59

Customizing Your Login    60

Changing a Password    61

Creating a Picture Password    63

Creating a PIN logon    66

Switching to a Local Account    67

Working with User Accounts    69

Add a User    69

Changing User Account Settings    70

Switching Users    72

Maintaining Your Privacy    73

Setting Location Privacy    73

5  Exploring Windows 8 Apps    77

Getting Started with Apps    78

Reviewing Apps    78

Pinning Apps to the Start Menu    79

Creating App Groups    80

Naming App Groups    81

Finding and Starting Apps    82

Locating an App    83

Launching an App from the Start Screen    84

Launching an App on the Desktop    84

Working with Apps    85

Exploring a Program “Window”    86

Checking Out a Metro App    87

Displaying the Apps Panel    88

Moving among Apps    88

Tiling Apps    89

Closing Apps    90

Closing Selected Apps    90

Using the Task Manager    91

Getting New Apps from the Windows Store    92

Introducing the Windows Store    93

Searching for an App    94

Installing an App    95

6  Using Windows Explorer    97

Launching and Navigating Windows Explorer    98

Starting Windows Explorer    98

Exploring the Explorer Screen    99

Navigating Windows Explorer    100

Working with the New Ribbon    101

Learning the Ribbon Layout    101

Displaying and Hiding the Windows Explorer Ribbon    103

Finding and Selecting Files and Folders    104

Finding Files and Folders    105

Selecting Files and Folders    106

Viewing File Information    107

Tagging Files    108

Copying, Pasting, and Sharing Files and Folders    109

Keeping a Close Eye on Your Copying    109

Solving Copy Conflicts    110

Sharing Files    111

7  Using the Seamless Web in Windows 8    113

Exploring Internet Explorer 10    114

Starting Internet Explorer    114

A Look Around the Internet Explorer Screen(s)    115

Browsing and Searching the Web—with Touch and Without    118

Using the Address Bar    119

Navigating the Web    120

Using Navigation Tiles    123

Searching for Information    124

Selecting Your Home Page    126

Working with Tabs    127

Using Tabs the Metro Way    127

Opening a New Tab in Desktop IE10    128

Securing Your Browsing Experience    129

Deleting Cookies    130

8  Photos, Music, Video, and Games!    133

Let There Be Photos!    134

Adding Photo Accounts to Windows 8    134

Viewing and Selecting Your Photos    136

Setting Photo Options    137

Offering Feedback on Photos    138

Displaying a Slideshow    139

Grooving to Your Tunes    140

Getting Started with the Music App    140

Listening to Music Previews    141

Adding Music to Your Collection    142

Purchasing Tunes    143

Watching and Sharing Video in Windows 8    144

Exploring Video    145

Using the Movies Marketplace    146

Don’t Forget Your Favorite Shows    148

Xbox Live Games in Windows 8    148

Customizing Your Avatar    149

Finding and Playing Your Favorite Games    150

Buying or Renting a Game    151

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